Chris Capuano Rumors

Dodgers Sign Chris Capuano

The Dodgers announced that they signed left-hander Chris Capuano to a two-year contract that rounds out the team's rotation and may signify the end of Hiroki Kuroda's tenure in Los Angeles. The $10MM deal includes an $8MM mutual option for 2014 and $1MM in incentives. Capuano joins Clayton KershawChad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Nathan Eovaldi in the Dodgers' rotation after a bounce-back season with the Mets. 

“Chris is an established Major League starting pitcher who adds to our staff,” GM Ned Colletti said in a statement. “He made more than 30 starts last season was a reliable part of the Mets rotation.”  

Capuano, who has had two Tommy John surgeries, didn’t pitch in the Major Leagues in 2008 or 2009. He returned to the Brewers in 2010 and pitched effectively, mostly out of the bullpen. Then, in 2011, he posted a 4.55 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 42.7% ground ball rate in 186 innings for the Mets. His unsightly ERA may be deceptive, since xFIP (3.67) and SIERA (3.60) suggest he pitched better. The Moye Sports Associates client placed 33rd on MLBTR’s list of top free agents. Ben Nicholson-Smith projected a two-year, $8MM deal for Capuano when he examined his free agent value earlier in the offseason and MLBTR's Steve Adams correctly predicted the Capuano-Dodgers pairing in MLBTR's free agent prediction contest.

The Dodgers have been aggressive this offseason, signing infielders Mark Ellis and Adam Kennedy, catcher Matt Treanor and outfielder Juan Rivera. They also locked up Matt Kemp to an eight-year, $160MM extension, so most of Colletti's offseason shopping is likely done.

Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio first reported the agreement and its terms (Twitter links) and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times added detail. Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.

Rosenthal On Capuano, Fielder, Marlins, Red Sox

The Twins offered Chris Capuano a two-year deal before he accepted the Dodgers' offer, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Here are more of Rosenthal's notes from around MLB…

  • The Marlins have discussed Prince Fielder internally and some team officials like the idea of pursuing him, according to Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi. However, they're more focused on Albert Pujols. Agent Scott Boras is telling teams that Fielder is the last available young power bat until Mike Stanton hits free agency.
  • The Pirates were also pursuing Capuano before he signed, Morosi tweets.
  • One GM says other teams backed off from Jose Reyes after the Marlins offered him $90MM over six years.
  • The Cardinals offered Albert Pujols a nine-year deal worth $190-200MM in Spring Training and haven’t changed their proposal since.
  • The Red Sox are exploring every trade possibility and considering every free agent closer, according to Rosenthal. Boston is hoping to find a bargain somewhere in the crowded market for top-tier relievers.

Twins Interested In Chris Capuano

The Twins are interested in free agent left-hander Chris Capuano, reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link).  The Dodgers are the only other club known to be pursuing Capuano, whose desire for a two-year contract was the reason the Mets lost interest in re-signing him.

Capuano, 33, posted a 4.55 ERA in 33 games (31 of them starts) for the Mets last season, though as Ben Nicholson-Smith explained in a recent Free Agent Stock Watch post, Capuano's xFIP and SIERA were each almost a full run lower.  Capuano didn't pitch in 2008 or 2009 due to Tommy John surgery and has spent all seven of his pro seasons in the National League.  He would seem like a good fit in Minnesota, where the rotation is unsettled beyond Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker and Carl Pavano.

NL West Notes: Saunders, Dodgers, Giants

The Rockies have grabbed the headlines tonight, trading Chris Iannetta to the Angels for Tyler Chatwood and agreeing to terms with Ramon Hernandez on a two-year deal. However, there’s lots more going on in the NL West. Here are the details:

  • There’s a “very good” chance Joe Saunders signs a two-year deal with the Diamondbacks,’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). Saunders, a non-tender candidate, has a projected 2012 salary of $8.7MM.
  • The Dodgers are looking for starting pitching and remain in on Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, according to’s Jayson Stark (on Twitter). However, Kuroda may be too pricey for the Dodgers, who also like Jeff Francis
  • The Dodgers will have a new owner before long, so Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times asks baseball people what qualities a good owner has. I recommend DiGiovanna’s piece, which suggests passion and money top the list of traits fans might want in an owner. 
  • Incoming Giants CEO Larry Baer confirmed that the team will operate with a $130MM payroll in 2012, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The team followed up its 2010 World Championship season with a $118MM payroll in 2011. 
  • For more news on the Rockies, click here.

Dodgers Prefer Kuroda, Harang, Capuano, Francis

The Dodgers have narrowed their search for starting pitching, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times (on Twitter). Free agents Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Jeff Francis top the Dodgers' list, according to DiGiovanna.

Jon Heyman of lists the same four pitchers as possible targets and says on Twitter that the Dodgers have less than $10MM to spend ('s Ken Gurnick listed the four possibilities yesterday). It's looking less likely that GM Ned Colletti will obtain a big bat from outside of the organization.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw won the 2011 NL Cy Young Award today.

Big Bat Looking Less Realistic For Dodgers

Asked about adding a big bat this winter, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told reporters including Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, "As of today, it looks less realistic."  Colletti has no meetings scheduled with Prince Fielder's agent, Scott Boras.  I wouldn't consider the Matt Kemp extension to be adding a big bat for 2012, since he was under team control regardless.

The Dodgers' 2012 payroll will come down from this year's $110MM mark, reports Hernandez.  So far the Dodgers have committed $6.5MM in 2012 salaries to Juan Rivera and Mark Ellis, perhaps with another $1MM or so on the way for Matt Treanor.  The Dodgers' new eight-year deal with Kemp could actually reduce their expected commitment to the center fielder for 2012.  Colletti still hopes to add a backup infielder capable of playing shortstop.  He's also looking for a starting pitcher, with Hiroki Kuroda currently undecided.  Chris Capuano, Jeff Francis, and Aaron Harang are on Colletti's radar if Kuroda does not return, reports's Ken Gurnick.

Including Rivera, Ellis, Treanor, and the $11.5MM owed to Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones next year, the Dodgers have $52.45MM in contractual commitments over seven roster spots.  If we estimate $13MM for Kemp and $19MM combined for Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw, that's about $84MM over ten roster spots.  Retaining James Loney would require another $6MM or so, pushing the Dodgers to $90MM.  Kuroda or an equivalent veteran starter would likely eat up most of the remaining surplus.   

NL East Notes: Phillies, Hamels, Mets, Reyes, Capuano

The Phillies made waves with their four-year, $50MM signing of Jonathan Papelbon, but now they must look at how that deal and the rest of their hefty payroll will shape their contract talks with Cole Hamels.  Here's a look at the Phillies and more from the NL East..

  • Four teams showed serious interest in Papelbon prior to the reliever with the Phillies, a major league source told Rob Bradford of  That number is including the Phillies but not the Red Sox, who never made a formal offer to Papelbon.
  • There don't appear to be any conversations between the Phillies and left-hander Cole Hamels, who will be eligible for free agency next fall so the club will have three possible options, writes Buster Olney of (Insider subscription required).  The Phils could sign Hamels to a one-year contract for 2012 and risk him walking away with with little to no return, try and lock him up to a long-term deal, or deal him now for the best possible return.  Some officials believe that the club's best course of action would be to move him this winter if they know now they don't want to pay him $20MM per season. 
  • If the Mets cannot re-sign Jose Reyes, they may look to make Daniel Murphy the full-time second baseman, an organizational source told Mike Puma of the New York Post.
  • Based off of comments from Mets GM Sandy Alderson, it sounds like pitcher Chris Capuano is a goner, writes Adam Rubin of  On Monday, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated wrote that the Mets have crossed the veteran off of their list due to his desire for a two-year deal.

Heyman On Fielder, Madson, Jurrjens, Capuano

In addition to Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle, the Marlins made an offer to free agent closer Ryan Madson, reports SI's Jon Heyman.  Unlike the other three, the Madson offer has yet to inspire a visit to Miami.  Heyman notes that the proposals are preliminary, and the team is not concerned about all four accepting.  Marlins president David Samson explained Saturday on 790 The Ticket with Glenn Geffner that the team has a free agent flow chart in which they expect a playoff team with every outcome (transcript courtesy of Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post).  More from Heyman…

  • The Mariners will make a run at Prince Fielder, tweets Heyman, but they're unsure if there's room in the budget.  Heyman suggests the Ms will not be in on Pujols.
  • Heyman explains the mess that was the Phillies' negotiations with Madson.  He says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. proposed $44MM over four years, which Madson accepted an hour or two later.  Oddly, Amaro added at that point that he needed the approval of CEO David Montgomery, according to Heyman.  The next day Amaro told agent Scott Boras he'd been unable to get that approval.  However, Amaro told Heyman there was no agreement "either verbal or in writing," and also said, "I will stand by my history of integrity forever."  Amaro also said Montgomery was aware of the negotiations as they occurred and wasn't responsible for killing the deal.  It appears Amaro and Boras are not on the same page as to what constitutes an agreement.
  • The Braves seek a Zack Greinke-like deal for Jair Jurrjens, writes Heyman.  He later tweeted, "Jurrjens understandably popular on trade market. A star and only 25. You know Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, others are in."
  • The Mets have crossed Chris Capuano off their list given his desire for a two-year deal.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Chris Capuano

Free agent left-hander Chris Capuano seeks a multiyear deal this offseason and, as improbable as it would have seemed two years ago, he may actually get one. The 33-year-old has recovered from Tommy John surgery — his second such operation — and two lost seasons to become a solid back-of-the-rotation option.

Chris Capuano

Capuano, who didn’t pitch in the Major Leagues in 2008 or 2009, returned to the Brewers in 2010 and pitched effectively, mostly out of the bullpen. Then, in 2011, he posted a 4.55 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 42.7% ground ball rate in 186 innings for the Mets.

His unsightly ERA may be deceptive, since xFIP (3.67) and SIERA (3.60) suggest he pitched better. Capuano placed 33rd on MLBTR’s list of top free agents and you can make the argument that he’s one of the top ten starters on the open market.

The Mets appear to prefer one-year bargains, but Capuano’s representatives at Moye Sports Associates are likely to hear from many other interested teams. At least a dozen teams will likely have interest in filling out the back of their rotations with arms such as Capuano, Bruce Chen and Freddy Garcia. For example, the Red Sox had some interest in Capuano at the end of the season and their need for pitching still exists.

Capuano, an unranked free agent, signed for $1.5MM plus incentives last offseason. After approaching the 200-inning plateau, he has earned a raise and a shot at a multiyear deal. Kevin Correia signed a two-year deal worth $8MM last offseason and I expect a similar contract for Capuano before Spring Training 2012.

Heyman On Pagan, Braves, Pujols, Madson

Terry Ryan is officially the interim general manager of the Twins, but Jon Heyman of hears that the longtime GM is recharged and may stay a while (Twitter link). Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors from

  • The Mets have discussed Angel Pagan as a non-tender candidate, but they intend to offer him arbitration, according to Heyman (on Twitter). MLBTR projects a $4.7MM salary for the center fielder in 2012.
  • Meanwhile, Chris Capuano is looking for a two-year deal, but the Mets prefer one-year bargains (Twitter link).
  • The Braves are looking for a Zack Greinke-like return in a deal for Jair Jurrjens, according to Heyman (on Twitter). The Royals obtained Jake Odorizzi, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jeremy Jeffress for Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt last offseason.
  • Twins executive Mike Radcliff and Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer weren’t that interested in the Orioles’ GM job, according to Heyman. The Orioles requested permission to interview them both, but the Twins denied the request and the Orioles hired Dan Duquette before setting anything up with Oppenheimer.
  • It's believed that Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava got a raise to stay in Toronto, according to Heyman.
  • It’s hard to tell Boston’s list of managerial candidates apart from the one the Cubs have, as Heyman explains.
  • It doesn’t appear that the Cardinals will be able to boost their nine-year, $200MM offer to Albert Pujols by much.
  • Ryan Madson is drawing lots of interest and the Red Sox, Phillies, Nationals, Rangers and Marlins are believed to be interested.
  • C.J. Wilson, Edwin Jackson, Mark Buehrle and Roy Oswalt are drawing lots of interest, as expected.
  • Heyman hears that Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is pushing for Prince Fielder or Pujols. The Marlins have also expressed early interest in Jose Reyes.